The United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) contracted less than expected in the first quarter of 2015; uplifted by stronger household spending, inventories, and residential fixed investment.
On Wednesday June 24th, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its third and final estimate of the U.S. GDP for the first quarter of 2015. The world’s largest economy shrunk in Q1 2015 and real GDP decreased at an annual rate of 0.2%, revised from a previously reported 0.7% drop. (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, last accessed July 20, 2015.)
The GDP was boosted by a 2.1% increase in personal consumption expenditures, but not as impressive as the 4.4% increase in the fourth quarter of 2014. Among consumption, durable goods gained 1.3%; non-durables increased 0.8%; while services surged 2.7%.
On a downturn side, a two percent decrease in the investment contributed significantly to the decline in the nation’s GDP. Exports of goods and services decreased 5.9% in the first quarter, as well. In contrast, both investment and exports increased 4.7% and 4.5% respectively in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Government spending did not help grow the GDP, either. Federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment were unchanged in the first quarter. However, the change in real private inventories added 0.45% to the first-quarter real GDP.
The U.S. department of commerce releases the change in GDP about 85 days after the quarter ends. The next GDP report is scheduled to be released on September 25, 2015.